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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

20 Weeks!!!!!

Today I hit a huge milestone. I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy. Yay!! And although I've enjoyed every minute of the journey so far, it has gone by quickly. I can see the next 20 weeks flying by and I intend to relish every moment of those weeks like I did the last.

But from here on out it'll be a different kind of journey. With each passing day I can feel my lil' bean getting stronger. Each movement has been more defined and he/she has definitely put on weight. It won't be another 20 weeks wondering how my lil' bean is doing. Instead, it'll be 20 weeks of feeling flips, kicks, and maybe even hiccups. There won't be a moment where I'll be wondering if there really is a baby in there! Also, my conversations won't go unnoticed any longer, along with daddy's. The two of us have been constantly speaking to our lil' bean over the last few weeks and it's comforting to me knowing that he/she can hear us now. It's amazing to think our voices will be how our baby will recognize mom & dad once we're able to hold him/her in our arms.

Next week will also be exciting for Paul & I. We're having our anatomy scan and we'll get to see our growing lil' bean again. Hopefully the computer screen won't be turned away the entire time but that all depends on the technician. The appointment will be an hour long and I'd love to see how my baby's been developing. This scan will show the brain, the heart and all other organs. We'll be sure that he/she has ten fingers and toes, along with healthy lungs and a spinal cord that is well developed. There are so many things to check for but the exciting part about it is that we'll hopefully know if our lil' bean is a boy or girl!

After all this excitement I know I'm going to need a break. That's why Paul & I have decided to go on a baby moon! Nothing fancy, just a week away, up north. We haven't booked a cottage yet but we've got 4 to choose from. I'm really looking foreword to sitting in front of a fire reading, playing a board game, watching the snow fall, feeling the baby move around, or just napping! And Paul will gladly drop what he's doing to feel the baby again. His face lit up the first time he felt it and it seemed he really couldn't believe what was going on.

Some of the not so good things of the week include sleeping, and trips to the bathroom :( My hips are still sore during the night and I've taken to using a pillow between my knees to alleviate some of the pain. It helps but when I switch sides, the pillow doesn't follow. I find myself being conscious of repositioning the pillow when I flip which causes some breaks in my sleep. Which of course isn't good for the bladder! I'm usually getting up twice a night to use the bathroom. And during the day it's even worse. Every two hours or so I heading to the loo. And standing up from a sitting position doesn't help either. But I guess I should be saving my complaints for later...

And what about my precious package you ask?? He/she is about 6 1/2 inches crown to rump. Before 20 weeks my lil' bean had it's legs curled up and it was hard to measure them. Now...he/she is big enough and the legs are included in the measurements. So my lil' bean is now 10 inches head to heel! About the size of a banana. He/she is swallowing more which is great practice for the digestive system. The amniotic fluid being swallowed contains old cells, lanugo, bile and other things the baby has excreted. All this won't hurt my lil' bean but instead causes meconium to start building up in the bowels. This will go on for the next 20 weeks and his/her first poop will be meconium. Yucky you say but I'm the one who'll have to clean it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

19 Weeks

I've been waiting to feel my lil' bean for a couple weeks but wasn't sure if what I was feeling was him/her. Now, I can happily say that my baby is a jumpin' bean in there :) For the past few days I've been feeling him/her move around pretty regularly. They aren't strong movements but feel like bubbles rumbling around. I guess that would be a flutter? I can go an entire day without noticing them but if I stop any pay attention, I can usually feel it. I can feel my lil' bean as I sit here typing!!

When Paul's around I've been telling him when the baby moves and he gets all excited. I feel bad about it sometimes but he's made it clear that he wants to know and he says he can't wait to feel it himself. Although it's too early for him to feel the movements, sometimes he gently pokes my belly in hopes that maybe something will happen. One day our lil' bean will poke him back!

I also saw our midwife on Tuesday and everything is going fine. We talked for 30 minutes or so and she answered most of the questions I had. Apparently I was asking things that would be better left for later in the pregnancy, although she did touch on them slightly. Things like IV's and continuous fetal heart monitoring. She told me that both those things weren't necessary unless something happened but we would talk more about it in one of the next visits.

I mentioned the hip pain that's been happening on and off for the last couple weeks, which I expected but not until I got a little rounder. Of course she assured me it was all normal. She explained my body was releasing a hormone called relaxin in order the get me ready for delivery. The relaxin was causing my joints, muscles and ligaments to soften and become more flexible. She also told me not to worry if it felt like my hips were popping in and out of their sockets. Fun stuff huh? I think I'll try some extra pillows for support.

Anyways, my midwife was glad that I had registered at the hospital. I had seen the "Family Birthing Unit" photos online and only had one question about it. I knew I'd get to use the shower for pain management since each room has one but I was curious about the one jacuzzi tub they had. She told me it would likely be available to me since the midwives seemed to be the only ones who used it. And it was big enough for two. That was awesome.

I know that having a baby most often doesn't work out like you planned but I think everyone has some sort of idea on how they would like things to happen. I've been very happy with the choices I've made so far and can only hope that things continue without complications.

This week my lil' bean is the size of medium zucchini, about 6 inches crown to rump. He/she is now covered in vernix to protect it from the amniotic fluid and the skin underneath appears red due to the visible blood vessels. There are motor neurones developing which are nerves that will connect the muscles to the brain. Along with that is sensory development. The brain is designating areas for smell, touch, taste, hearing and vision. Under the gums there are permanent teeth buds developing behind the already formed milk teeth buds. His/her arms and legs are now proportioned to each other and the rest of the body. There is hair sprouting from the scalp this week as well. I can't wait to meet this perfect lil' person.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

18 Weeks

A few days ago I was lying in bed and couldn't sleep. I was turning from side to side and thought about getting up to watch some TV. Knowing it would just keep me up even longer, I opted to think until I fell asleep. I thought about what I would make for dinner the next day. And I thought about the new floor that was going to be delivered soon. Then I thought about the bathroom remodelling and the new closet Paul was going to build downstairs.

But...I was still awake.

I thought about the books I could be reading. And which ones I wanted to read first. I thought about the movies I hadn't watched yet and the ones I wanted to watch again.

Then I felt it. It wasn't a flutter, or gas. It wasn't quite like a poke and it definitely wasn't round ligament pain. It felt like a little muscle twitch, from the inside. It was a curious feeling. And I only felt it once that night but I have felt it since. Could it be my lil' bean saying hello? I'd like to think so, but I can't be sure. Not yet anyways.

After that, I wasn't so worried about getting to sleep. I started to think back about the last 18 weeks and how being pregnant had only felt like a dream. I was remembering those first couple of weeks in limbo. Not knowing if I was pregnant, and all I could do was wait and wonder. Then came the excitement of telling Paul that we were going to be parents. We were both so happy.

As the next few weeks went by, it had been hard not telling anybody. The thought of having a person developing & growing inside me was so foreign that I would sometimes wonder if it could be true. After all, I didn't look or feel any different except for being extra tired some days. But time passes, as it always does and I got used to thinking of myself as a nurturer.
As a person responsible for the growth and well being of another.
I had started seeing myself as a mother.

Now, with each passing week, thinking of my lil' bean puts an even bigger smile on my face. And the best thing about all this is that I've got someone very special to share it with.

This week my lil' bean is the size of a bell pepper. All the organs are in place and will be getting more mature here on out. His/her translucent skin is now covered in lanugo and vernix will soon be on the way. The skin has actually formed into two layers this week, the epidermis and the dermis. Taste buds are starting to form and the bones are continuing to harden. Just a few more weeks and I'll get to see my lil' bean again!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

17 Weeks

Another week has passed and the baby excitement continues! Monday was my last surprise. I was finally able to tell my boss the good news. Well, my good news at least! It didn't happen the way I wanted it to, but that's OK. He had been in a meeting prior to me starting my shift so when I saw him walking around I stopped him, and as soon as I told him there was something I needed to speak to him about, his quick and curt reply was "your not pregnant are you?". And since I couldn't lie about it any more I smiled and said, "actually, I am".

His quick thinking lead to the following Q & A

Boss: "really?"
Me: "yes"

Boss: "your joking?"
Me: "no"

Boss: "you'r serious?"
Me: "yes."

Boss: "really?"
Me: "yes"

There was a very short pause and then...."Well, congratulations." And I said "Thanks". He continued on his way, looking shocked and confused. And of course that part baffled me because not one month ago, we had been sitting in his office during my review talking about how I was probably going to want to start a family soon. I guess the shock of it all just needed to settle in. And it did.

The next day was full of congrats and the usual questions,
"When's the baby due?"
"How far along are you?"
"Do you know the sex yet?"
"Are you going to find out?"
It was very repetitive but I loved every minute of it. My biggest joy in life wasn't something I needed to keep from anyone anymore and I now have the advantage of enjoying it to the fullest. I know the novelty of it all will wear off and I'll eventually get tired of answering the same questions over and over again, but I'll deal with it when I get there.

And I'm sure my lil' bean isn't the slightest bit phased by all this excitement. He/she is now the size of a small pomegranate and I've started talking to them more in hopes that he/she can hear me. The skeleton is starting to change from soft cartilage to bone but I'm still not feeling anything distinct yet. Along with that is the growth of the umbilical cord. It is getting stronger and thicker. My lil' bean has also started to put on a little bit of fat. He/she will take the next several months to gain the body fat needed to maintain their body temperature when they are born. As for my lil''s getting bigger. I've skipped the belly band and bought maternity clothes this past weekend. It wasn't as frustrating as I thought it was going to be but I really did have to think about what I was buying. With the price of clothes I wanted to be as sure as I could be that it would all fit me as my belly expands. I started with a few pairs of pants, some long sleeved shirts and a versatile cardigan. And the best part of it all is that I feel much more comfortable.

Friday, January 1, 2010

16 Weeks Happy New Year Everyone!

It's the first day of 2010 and I know it'll be one to remember. I've had a chance to tell a lot of people about my lil' bean but there's still some who haven't heard the good news yet. My father is one. I was ready to tell him after lunch a few days ago, but he only seemed comfortable while playing with my sister's kids. When we sat down for lunch he was only paying attention to the kids even though I was sitting right next to him. The few times we tried to start a conversation with him, he responded with only a few words. Now this is not completely out of the ordinary for him but I guess I was hoping for a different situation in order to share my good news. In the end, I decided that telling him over the phone would be the best for both of us.

Another person I was hoping to tell this week was my boss. I thought he would have been around for the 3 days between Christmas and New Years but I was wrong. On Monday night I wasn't sure how I would tell him and was hoping he wasn't going to be there. Then as I was brushing my teeth Tuesday morning, I new exactly how I was going to spill the beans. I was feeling great during the 45 minute drive to work, and when I got there his truck wasn't in the parking lot. I wasn't worried and didn't think anything of it. He didn't have to be the right at 7am like the rest of us so I just went about my day. 8am came quick, then 9 and 10am. By then I was a little disappointed that my plan of action was not going to be implemented. Oh well, it'll have to wait until next week.

Thursday was only half day at work so I planned to visit my grandmother, Aunt, Uncle & cousin before seeing my mom. They were having a late breakfast and insisted I have at least some coffee with them. I didn't. And that's how they found out. They didn't believe me at first but when I repeatedly told them I wasn't joking everyone was happy & excited. I told my grandma next and she wished me all the best. I left after a couple of hours and stopped by my mom's. We had a bowl of soup and chatted for a while. Then Paul & I went out for a quick lunch before coming home. He doesn't work too far from my mom's so it all worked out well.

Later that night we were going to a friends for New Years Eve. There was 4 couples there and we had a good time eating, talking, and playing Rock Band. And of course more congrats and questions about the baby mixed in with other conversation. It was 3am by the time we got home and I was exhausted. Now I've got 3 more days before I have to be back at work and I'm going to make the best of it.

This week my lil' bean has grown to be the size of an avocado, about 4 1/2 inches long. He/she is dancing around and probably sucking their fingers or toes, and playing with the umbilical cord. The head is now being held more upright and the neck is very developed. The eyes are still moving under the lids and the ears are almost in their permanent position. The heart is working to pump 25 quarts of blood every day and this will only increase as he/she grows. I haven't felt any movement yet but my lil' bean is due for a growth spurt. He/she will be doubling their weight in the next few weeks and I'm sure that will lead to some movement I can feel.